60 Minutes’ Response Is Still Inadequate

60 Minutes has released the results of its review of Lara Logan’s ridiculous story on Benghazi. In response, they’re putting Logan and the producer of the story on administrative leave for an undisclosed period of time.

I guess if Dan Rather were prettier he’d still be working at 60 Minutes.

And even with Logan’s leave, their response is still inadequate. Check out the first two bullets in their internal report.

–From the start, Lara Logan and her producing team were looking for a different angle to the story of the Benghazi attack. They believed they found it in the story of Dylan Davies, written under the pseudonym, “Morgan Jones”. It purported to be the first western eyewitness account of the attack. But Logan’s report went to air without 60 Minutes knowing what Davies had told the FBI and the State Department about his own activities and location on the night of the attack.

–The fact that the FBI and the State Department had information that differed from the account Davies gave to 60 Minutes was knowable before the piece aired. But the wider reporting resources of CBS News were not employed in an effort to confirm his account. It’s possible that reporters and producers with better access to inside FBI sources could have found out that Davies had given varying and conflicting accounts of his story. [my emphasis]

All the focus on this story has been on what Jones AKA Davies told the FBI. But as 60 Minutes notes (and I reported weeks ago), Jones AKA Davies’ story also conflicted in significant ways with the publicly released Accountability Review Board. And while the report didn’t attribute the many failures of Jones AKA Davies’ employees to an interview with him directly, the scathing review of Blue Mountain Group’s (and therefore Jones AKA Davies’) performance provided obvious motive for Jones AKA Davies to lie (in part, because his failures contributed to getting Chris Stevens killed).

So while it’s nice that 60 Minutes expresses some embarrassment they didn’t get people with better sources at CBS (including the CBS people who used to work at FBI) to double check Jones AKA Davies’ story with the FBI, I’m really wondering if they have an explanation for why, over a year of work, neither Logan nor her producer did something as simple as a Google search?

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11 replies
  1. John says:

    “…they have an explanation for why, over a year of work, neither Logan nor her producer did something as simple as a Google search?”

    Why? Or rather, why not?

    Because they had their desired outcome established and needed no backup, let alone corroboration.

  2. Valley Girl says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    Not sure what you mean by parent company. What am I missing?

    I wish I could find the article I read at the time, but this info was included in some form:

    ~~Threshold Editions, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS, ~~~

    ~~~ CBS had already come under fire for not disclosing that the CBS owned Simon & Schuster was publishing a book by Davies about his Benghazi experience. Both Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS News and executive producer of “60 Minutes,” and correspondent Lara Logan have said they regretted not including a disclosure.~~~

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/11/simon-schuster-pulling-benghazi-book-177108.html

    and…chief editor…

    ~~~Matalin has been chief editor of Threshold Editions, a conservative publishing imprint at Simon & Schuster, since March 2005.~~~

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Matalin

    So, in article I can’t find… suggestion was that in some ways the 60 Minutes was a promo for a huge $$ book tour by Davies…

  3. Valley Girl says:

    EW:

    ~~ I’m really wondering if they have an explanation for why, over a year of work, neither Logan nor her producer did something as simple as a Google search? ~~

    Good question. Maybe they did do a google search, but chose to ignore info, because out of sheer hubris, they thought they had “the real truth”. I dunno.

    But, I have to say that Colbert Report had an excellent take-down. edit, and Stewart.

  4. Valley Girl says:

    @P J Evans:

    Somewhere in trying to find the original article I read, I discovered that “Blue Mountain Group” was “Welsh-based”. Or something like that. I’ll see if I can find source again and will report back if I do. I’d sure like to know more about this “Blue Mountain Group”.

  5. Frank33 says:

    BENGHAZI!!

    Lara wants Benghazi Revenge. The beautiful Lara Logan has had Irak warriors fighting over her. Fisticuffs broke out between her future shill husband and a CNN shill. Joseph Burkett won her affections. And Burkett won the Irak War, on paper.

    Do we have a Benghazi Conspiracy Theory? Burkett is another spook who catapults false history. He probably snitches on any anti-war journalist he might meet.

    He was an employee of the Lincoln Group, a now-shuttered “strategic communications and public relations firm” hired by the Department of Defense in 2005 to plant positive stories written by American soldiers in Baghdad newspapers during the Iraq War.

    “He did information operations,” one former colleague of Burkett’s told Gawker. “It was really spooky stuff. We worked with one of those special spooky IO outfits that didn’t even have a unit patch.” It’s the kind of work for which a close relationship with an American network correspondent might come in handy.

    And it paid handsomely. Under an “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract,” the Pentagon promised the Lincoln Group up to $100,000,000 to assist the military’s Joint Psychological Operations with controlling local media coverage of the American occupation.

  6. P J Evans says:

    @Valley Girl:
    A fast Google says they’re based in Carmarthen, in south Wales (their Facebook page does, with lots of pictures implying they’re competent at security).

  7. C says:

    It might also have something to do with Lara Logan’s current husband. He is or was a propaganda contractor for the U.S. Military with a lucrative contract to plant positive stories about the war in Iraq at the same time that Logan was a CBS reporter covering the war in Iraq.

    http://gawker.com/lara-logan-s-husband-was-a-propagandist-for-the-u-s-mi-1462275766

    While I have found no direct connection between him and Blue Mountain it doesn’t speak well of her impartiality.

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